Trump on Iran at the U.N.

On September 24, President Trump condemned Iran’s leaders for supporting terror, destabilizing the region and cheating their citizens. "Iran’s leaders will have turned a proud nation into another cautionary tale of what happens when a ruling class abandons its people and embarks upon a crusade for personal power and riches," he said in his address to the U.N. General Assembly. Trump also encouraged the international community to isolate the Islamic Republic. "No responsible government should subsidize Iran’s bloodlust," he said. "As long as Iran’s menacing behavior continues, sanctions will not be lifted. They will be tightened." Trump also accused Tehran of trying to develop nuclear weapons. The following is an excerpt on Iran from his address. 

 

 

One of the greatest security threats facing peace-loving nations today is the repressive regime in Iran.  The regime’s record of death and destruction is well known to us all.

Not only is Iran the world’s number one state sponsor of terrorism, but Iran’s leaders are fueling the tragic wars in both Syria and Yemen. 

At the same time, the regime is squandering the nation’s wealth and future in a fanatical quest for nuclear weapons and the means to deliver them.  We must never allow this to happen.

To stop Iran’s path to nuclear weapons and missiles, I withdrew the United States from the terrible Iran nuclear deal, which has very little time remaining, did not allow inspection of important sites, and did not cover ballistic missiles. 

Following our withdrawal, we have implemented severe economic sanctions on the country.  Hoping to free itself from sanctions, the regime has escalated its violent and unprovoked aggression.  In response to Iran’s recent attack on Saudi Arabian oil facilities, we just imposed the highest level of sanctions on Iran’s central bank and sovereign wealth fund. 

All nations have a duty to act.  No responsible government should subsidize Iran’s bloodlust.  As long as Iran’s menacing behavior continues, sanctions will not be lifted; they will be tightened.  Iran’s leaders will have turned a proud nation into just another cautionary tale of what happens when a ruling class abandons its people and embarks on a crusade for personal power and riches.

For 40 years, the world has listened to Iran’s rulers as they lash out at everyone else for the problems they alone have created.  They conduct ritual chants of “Death to America” and traffic in monstrous anti-Semitism.  Last year the country’s Supreme Leader stated, “Israel is a malignant cancerous tumor…that has to be removed and eradicated: it is possible and it will happen.”  America will never tolerate such anti-Semitic hate.

Fanatics have long used hatred of Israel to distract from their own failures.  Thankfully, there is a growing recognition in the wider Middle East that the countries of the region share common interests in battling extremism and unleashing economic opportunity.  That is why it is so important to have full, normalized relations between Israel and its neighbors.  Only a relationship built on common interests, mutual respect, and religious tolerance can forge a better future.

Iran’s citizens deserve a government that cares about reducing poverty, ending corruption, and increasing jobs -- not stealing their money to fund a massacre abroad and at home. 

After four decades of failure, it is time for Iran’s leaders to step forward and to stop threatening other countries, and focus on building up their own country.  It is time for Iran’s leaders to finally put the Iranian people first.

America is ready to embrace friendship with all who genuinely seek peace and respect.

Many of America’s closest friends today were once our gravest foes.  The United States has never believed in permanent enemies.  We want partners, not adversaries.  America knows that while anyone can make war, only the most courageous can choose peace.

For this same reason, we have pursued bold diplomacy on the Korean Peninsula. I have told Kim Jong Un what I truly believe: that, like Iran, his country is full of tremendous untapped potential, but that to realize that promise, North Korea must denuclearize.

Around the world, our message is clear: America’s goal is lasting, America's goal is harmony, and America's goal is not to go with these endless wars -- wars that never end.
 

Remarks with Iraqi President Barham Salih after Trump’s U.N. address

On talks with Iran: Well, they would like to negotiate.  We haven’t really worked that out.  They’re here, we’re here, but we have not agreed to that yet.  But they would like to negotiate.  And it would certainly make sense, but we have not agreed to that yet.

On French President Emmanuel Macron: He's also talking to us.  A number of people are.  So is Prime Minister Khan of Pakistan and a lot of people; Chancellor Merkel -- just left Chancellor Merkel.  And she's very much involved.  We have a lot of people involved.  A lot of people would like to get us to the table.  We’ll see what happens.  But, so far, we have not agreed to a meeting.

On Prime Minister Khan mediating with Iran and the United States: Well, he’d like to do that, and we have a very good relationship.  And there’s a chance that that could happen.  But, no, I haven’t spoken.  He actually asked me.  He thought it would be a good idea to meet. 

And we’re here.  We’re in New York together.  And we have the time to do it, although we’ve done a lot of bilats in the last two days.  We’ve had tremendous success.  I was treated very nicely on the speech.  A lot of good reviews on what we had to say.  And so, I appreciate that.  The media was actually very good on the speech.

 

Updated